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tv   News 4 Today at 6  NBC  December 14, 2011 6:00am-7:00am EST

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this mess. this bill is terrible. it is terrible. >> deja vu. congress is at a roadblock. if they don't find middle ground, it could lead to higher taxes and possibly a government shutdown. good morning and thanks for joining us for "news 4 today." i'm eun yang. >> and i'm joe krebs. let's take a live look outside right now. we have brightening skies on the horizon. 45 degrees here in the nation's capital. let's talk to tom about our forecast. tom? >> we can't blame the weather for a slow commute this morning. we don't really have any weather issues to deal with. no frost for the most part throughout much of the region. it's a bit milder this morning than it has been the last few mornings. there is the sky over the nax nation's capital. mostly cloudy. dry over reagan national. we have a calm wind. temperatures around the region, generally mid and upper 30s from
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the mountains all the way to the bay and eastern shore. few isolated spots eastern shore where there's not as much cloud cover. but elsewhere, quite a bit of cloudiness across virginia, maryland, and west virginia coming in from the west/northwest. there's a warm front triggering some rain way out in western west virginia into ohio, indiana, michigan, and parts of kentucky. that's going to be staying generally way to our west. however, far western maryland may get a few sprinkles over the morning hours. sunrise at 7:18. they'll have quite a bit of cloudiness. maybe a few peeks of sun in and out. we're seeing the moon showing through from time to time. moons high in the western sky. by midafternoon, ought to be making it in the upper 40s. low and mid-50s. a milder day on the way. overnight tonight, turning cool again. a look at your evening planner in ten minutes. here's a look at the wednesday commute. danella, how are things looking now. over in germantown, a pedestrian struck. it has your exit ramp to
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germantown road completely shut. this is from i-270 southbound, you cannot get on germantown road. you are jammed. this is the view at father hurley. you can see these cars are at a complete stop as they make their way southbound towards the accident. i can also tell if you're coming out of fredericksburg, you're in this set of delays. it's a very slow commute for you this morning. chopper 4 is live over i-95 southbound as you approach route 32. there's an accident here involving a car into the ditch. you can't see it. it's off camera. i have seen it. crews are work to ing to get thr out of the roadway. this is the westbound exit to 32. you're pretty slow as you make your way towards this accident. again, it's near the exit ramp for westbound 32. if you're traveling i-95 in virginia, you're hitting the brakes at fairfax county park. it's a slow commute for you as you make your way on 35. it's a slow commute for you this
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morning. 6:02 now. congress is once again working to avoid a government shutdown at the end of the week. it's all because lawmakers cannot agree on how to extend a payroll tax cut for millions of americans. bipartisan lawmakers reached an agreement on a $1 trillion measure to keep the government through next september. temporary funding expires this weekend. democrats refuse to let the legislation move through congress until the two parties broker a deal on the payroll tax cut. the republican controlled house voted to extend payroll tax cuts through 2012, but senate democrats say they won't approve it because the proposal has a requirement for construction of an oil pipeline. house speaker john boehner called the move outrageous. >> now senate democrats must act. the senate can take up our bill. they can pass it. they can amend it. they can move their own bill. but it is time for the senate to act. >> president obama has threatened to veto the payroll
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tax measure, if it includes the tax provision. congress is threatening to ramp up the role of the military in the capture of suspected terrorists. the house is expected to vote on a $662 billion defense bill that authorizes funds for military personnel, weapons, and wars in iraq and afghanistan. the bill would require military custody for suspected terrorists linked to al qaeda and indefinite detention without trial for some suspects. that includes u.s. citizens captured on american soil. the senate could vote on the measure tomorrow. a new poll says a large chunk of americans believe the 112th congress is one of the worst ever. according to a new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, 42% agree with that sentiment. 33% say it's been below average. 21% say it has been average. only 2% label it above average. and 1% calls it the one of the best ever. the poll has an overall margin of error of plus/minus 3.1
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percentage points. later today president obama will mark the coming end of american military presence in iraq by visiting troops in north carolina. he'll travel to ft. bragg near fayetteville with the first lady and make a speech there this afternoon. more than 200 troops from the base have died in iraq since the war began. the president has pledged that all u.s. troops will be out of iraq by the end of this month. the man accused of firing shots at the white house will be in court today. oscar ortega hernandez was ordered to undergoing further psychiatric testing and evaluation after passing a preliminary mental exam. they say he is competent to stand trial. 21-year-old is accuseded of trying to assassinate the president. prosecutors say he fired a semiautomatic rifle at the white house last month. he is due back in court at 9:30 this morning. traffic is running a little more smoothly in tysons corner. vdot crews opened a ramp that had been closed for more than a year. the ramp connects westbound
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leesburg pike with southbound chain bridge road. it was closed in september of last year for work on metro's new silver line. crews had been working on the west end of a tunnel that will run underneath tysons corner. and commuters up the road in sterling are also in for some relief today. the final section of atlantic boulevard is finally open. the 4 1/2 mile stretch of road connects sterling road to route 7 in sterling and should alleviate traffic on route 28. the newest section from magnolia road to church road opens today. the clarendon metro station is back open today. it shut down overnight because loose floor tiles were found on the mezzanine near the fare gates. they tell news 4 they wanted to make sure the station was structurally sound. shuttle buses were called in for an hour before the station was deemed safe. 6:06 is the time right now. travel trouble for lindsay
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lohan. reports she missed an important flight. [ screaming ]
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[ zapping ] there goes dwayne's car. oh, man. there goes dwayne's house. whoa! whoa! and there goes dwayne. man, that thing does not like dwayne. [ male announcer ] state farm's got you covered. nice landing. it was. [ male announcer ] get to a better state.
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this new zealand woman must have a fairly comfortable couch. she woke up to find a baby fur seal relaxing on the sofa. the seal had to be pretty determined to get in there. listen to this. he had to walk across a busy street, which if they can walk. it's really a scoot. he wandered across the garden, got into a home through a cat flap in the door, climbed a flight of stairs. please, do you believe this? and walked through a kitchen finally finding a couch in the living room.
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looking for a beach ball to balance on its nose. the snoozing seal was eventually released back into the wild. wildlife officials say stories like this aren't always laughing matters. seals can bite, but apparently this one did not. >> don't you think she just stole him and put him on her sofa and made up the story? >> not publicly on the air. we'll take her story at face value. >> wow, that is some journey. 6:11. i'm just kidding. i'm not accusing her of stealing anything. 6:11. weather and traffic on the ones. >> here's tom. >> good morning. here in stormcenter 4. getting reports of milder temperatures this morning. not as cold as it has been last couple of mornings. most areas we don't need to be scraping frost off the windshields. mid to upper 30s much of the region, including montgomery, fairfax, prince george's county. mid and upper 30s. away from the waters, low to mid-30s. mostly cloudy this morning. little bit of moon showing
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through from time to time. we may see a little sun in and out this morning. a lot of clouds around today. sunrise 7:18. during the afternoon, we ought to peak briefly low and mid-50s. then this evening, we'll be back down into the low 40s through much of the evening under a mostly cloudy sky. could get rain tomorrow. we'll look at that, the rest of the week and weekend in ten minutes. danella, how's traffic? >> good morning. we have breaking news out of germantown. the exit ramp from germantown road from i-270 is completely shut down. we have a pedestrian struck. i-270, you're jammed as you make your way towards clarksburg. seeing delays out of urbanna. this is father hurley boulevard as you make your way towards the accident. the exit for germantown road is closed and your right lane is blocked by emergency response vehicles. please be aware. expect significant delays in this area. if you're traveling i-95 in virginia, you're very slow as well. making your way towards fairfax
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county parkway. seeing delays right now as you start out of dale city. it is stop and go for you as you make your way towards 395. i'm back in ten minutes with another look at traffic. now back to you both. >> danella, thank you. 6:13 is the time. the annual distinction the occupy protesters, gabrielle giffords, and steve jobs are all in the running for. [ female announcer ] more people are using wireless devices...
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in more ways than ever. and our networks are getting crowded. but if congress frees up more wireless spectrum... we can empower more people to innovate... putting momentum behind our economy. and we can reduce the deficit... with more than thirty billion dollars paid by america's wireless companies. it's simple -- more spectrum means more freedom. for everyone.
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6:16 is our time. jerry sandusky's attorney is apologizing for referring to a gay sex phone line after the former penn state football coach waived his preliminary hearing. during a press conference, joseph amendola said anyone who believes the university officials thought his client raped a 10-year-old boy and did little about it should call 1-800-reality. amendola said he's used that
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phrase for years to mean get a life. the phone number is actually a sex line for gay men. amendola said he did not know the number is real and vowed not to use it again. sandusky is charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse involving ten days over a 12-year span. he says he is innocent. the amateur athletic union, or aau, will address a sex abuse investigation centered on its former president today. the program is expected to announce changes to its policies and protocol to ensure athletes' safety. investigators are looking into allegations that ex-aau president robert dodd molested children 30 years ago. the 63-year-old retired last month. so far authorities have not received a formal victim complaint. two former ball boys for the syracuse men's basketball team are now suing the university and head coach jim boeheim. the coach initially said bobby davis and mike lang were lying when they accused former assistant coach bernie fine of molesting them of the the stepbrothers are suing boeheim
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for defamation. syracuse fired fine when his wife was heard in a taped phone call suggesting she knew about the alleged abuse. the u.s. attorney's office is investigating claims from a third accuser. prosecutors said they could not move forward with allegations from the stepbrothers because of the statute of the limitations has expired. bernie fine denies the allegations. the spotsylvania man who shot and killed a police officer at virginia tech legally purchased the gun that he used. despite nonstop efforts since thursday, state police say they still cannot find a link between the shooter ross ashley and the victim derek crouse. ashley also has no known connections to the school. surveillance video first puts ashley in blacksburg on wednesday afternoon, but he's not seen again until the shooting that killed derek crouse. new information from a cell phone could lead to a breakthrough in the case of a missing mother in orlando. investigators recovered michelle parker's iphone in the bottom of a lake last week of the the
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phone was found in remarkably good shape, and they're now following up on leads possibly from that phone. but they won't say what those new leads are. michelle parker disappeared last month after appearing on the tv show "people's court" with her ex-fiance david smith. police reasserted smith is the prime suspect in parker's disappearance, and they have new information to back that up. dr. conrad murray is asking for a publicly funded attorney to handle his appeal on a manslaughter conviction in michael jackson's death, saying he cannot afford to pay for one himself. murray is currently serving the four-year prison sentence for the involuntary manslaughter of jackson in 2009. murray says he would like to appeal or wants to appeal both his conviction and his sentence. so far no formal papers have been filed with the california appeals court. it is now 6:19. actress lindsay lohan is back from vacation in hawaii just in time to make her court appearance this morning. the 25-year-old actress will give the judge her first
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progress report under the new probation requirement. lohan has reported regularly for work at the l.a. county morgue since being threatened with a long jail sentence. she also attended counseling sessions for previously violating her probation. the washington capitals have been playing a little better recently, but last night the flyers proved the caps still have a long way to go. both offense and defense were missing as the flyers absolutely dominated in a 5-1 win at the verizon center. the second period proved to be the difference. actually, the goals proved to be the difference. the flyers scored three unanswered goals, and coach dale hunter pulled goely tomas vokoun from the game. jeff halpern gave the caps their only goal, but that didn't come until the final minutes of the game. in a little over an hour, we'll find out who "time" magazine's most interesting person of the year is. this year's candidates include secretary of state hillary clinton, the occupy protesters,
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kate middleton, gabrielle giffords, and steve jobs. don't forget you can watch the "today" show here on nbc 4 after "news 4 today." >> that will be interesting to see. interested to see what the forecast is too. here's tom. temperatures around the region are about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than they were yesterday morning. right now generally above freezing across virginia, maryland, west virginia, eastern shore. right near the bay waters, upper 30s to near 40. 40 at reagan national on the potomac. inland away from waters in washington itself, it's generally in the mid-30s. mid-30s montgomery, arlington, fairfax, prince george's county. and we've got a lot of cloud cover coming from the west/northwest. going to be with us throughout the day. maybe a few breaks in the clouds. sunrise at 7:18. we'll be still around 40 by 9:00. upper 40s by noontime. low and mid-50s middle of the afternoon. quite a bit of cloudiness. overnight tonight.
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by dawn tomorrow, upper 30s. friday mostly cloudy. afternoon highs mid-50s. small chance of a sprinkle to the south of washington friday night. then saturday some sun back but chillier. near freezing in the morning. afternoon highs mid-40s. another cold start sunday morning. sunny sunday afternoon, mid-40s. bit milder. could get rain tuesday. danella, how's traffic? breaking news out of germantown. if you're traveling on i-270 southbound, the exit ramp for germantown road is completely shut down at this time. accident involving fatal pedestrian accident has occurred. again, this exit ramp is shut down. chopper 4 is live over i-270 right now. if you're traveling southbound on 270, again, you cannot exit onto germantown road. also, your right lane is blocked. so traffic is slowly getting by, but you have to stick to the left. from what chopper says, they can see a backup for about a mile, even two miles back on southbound i-270. you are bumper to bumper as you make your way towards this
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accident. if you can take another route, it may be a better option for you because you can see here it's going to be a slow commute for you this morning. i'm going to be tracking this accident all morning long and let you know the status update on this. if you're traveling i-95 in virginia, still seeing problems in this area as well. out of prince william parkway, very slow making your way towards fairfax county parkway. your travel speed is about 37 miles per hour. coming out of quantico, that trip will take you 37 minutes to get to the beltway. now back to you both. >> danella, thanks. it is now 6:23. 40 degrees. after the break, i don't? the new numbers this morning that show marital bliss or marital misery, depending on how you look at it, is at an all time low.
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no, this is not an insurance commercial that you've seen many times. a miami police officer somehow became distracted, ran over a wire, and ended up a 45 degree angle up a utility pole. they did get him out of his cruiser, and he is okay. try to explain that to your boss. >> except mortified, of course. a striking picture of the state of marriage in america. according to census data reviewed by the pew research
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center, only 51% of american adults are married. that's down 5% from last year and down more than 20% from 1960. and those that are getting married are doing it later in life. about half of all women are 26 or older when they're first married, and more than half of all men are at least 29 years old. >> very interesting. 6:27 is the time. ahead at 6:45 this morning, the very real threat the federal government is just days away from shutting down.
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breaking news right now. a deadly pedestrian accident causing major backups and delaying thousands of drivers. and the occupation investigation. why a congressman is questioning whether local protesters are breaking the law. good morning and welcome back to "news 4 today." i'm joe krebs. >> and i'm eun yang. today d.c. mayor vincent gray will hold a press conference to announce the district's snow and winter emergency plan.
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officials reviewed last year's response plan and made changes to better ensure safety. i'm hoping that we're not going to have to use the heavy duty stuff this winter. >> you need to use it. it will get rusty. how soon is the question. >> yeah, not in the foreseeable future. >> the snow lovers are waiting patiently. be patient. snow is on our side. this morning a bit warmer around the area. temperatures mid-30s to upper 30s. right now 40 at reagan national. it's a little more humid. you might not need as much skin lotion as we've needed the last couple of days. calm wind. a lot of clouds around. a bit above freezing, virginia, west virginia, eastern shore, montgomery, arlington, fairfax prince george's county low to mid-30s.
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right near the bay, upper 30s to around 40. a lot of dloudyness coming in from the northwest coming in on upper level winds associated with a warm front that's producing a little bit of rain way out in northern west virginia. that may make it into far western maryland during the morning hours. otherwise, just a lot of clouds around today. here's your day planner. sunrise at 7:18. maybe a little sun this morning. otherwise, cloudy the rest of the day. highs reaching low to mid-50s midafternoon. a look at the evening planner at 6:41. danella has a look at the traffic. good morning. >> good morning. fatal pedestrian accident closes your exit for germantown road. this is as you're coming from southbound i-270. chopper 4 is live here now. and you can see, if it you're traveling southbound on i-270, the right side of the road is blocked for you. two lanes are able to get by on the left, but you cannot exit onto germantown road because that is where we have the fatal pedestrian accident.
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you're backed up two miles as far as we can tell. in maryland, very slow at new hampshire avenue, and your delays continue as you make your way towards georgia avenue. travel speeds in that area, you're at 34 miles per hour. if you're traveling i-95 in virginia, very slow commute. i'll give you a travel speed. you're roughly at 36 miles per hour. to get from quantico to the beltway, that trip will take you 38 minutes. joe and eun, back to you. >> danella, thanks so much. the occupy d.c. movement is now the focus of an investigation on capitol hill. a house committee is investigating why the national park service is allowing the demonstrators to remain in mcpherson square. republican congressman darrell issa, who heads that committee, blames the protesters for damaging the public space. issa also accuses the park service of breaking its own rules by allowing the protesters to remain there in mcpherson square. and occupy d.c. protesters plan to demonstrate tonight at a fund-raiser for republican presidential candidate mitt romney. that event will be held at the new downtown restaurant lincoln.
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mitt romney will not be there at tonight's fund-raiser, but his son tag is headlining the dinner, which is aimed at young professionals. this morning presidential hopeful jon huntsman will visit virginia f virginia for a fund-raiser, according to "the washington post." he ranks six out of seven candidates in the nbc news poll. governor bob mcdonnell is scheduled to stop by the breakfast at the country club in richmond and speak with huntsman. mcdonnell has spoken with nearly all of the republican presidential candidates. the two men leading the race for the republican nomination have a very different road to the white house. a new poll shows newt gingrich has a strong hold on republican voters, with 23% saying he's their first choice. romney trails. nearly two-thirds of republicans
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classify romney as moderate or liberal. in the meantime, romney faces off better against obama, trailing him by only 2%. gingrich trails him by 11% primarily because independents and women view him in a more negative light. donald trump will not moderate a planned republican debate because he's still considering a run for the white house himself. trump says he may become an independent candidate in june. because of a time provision, he cannot become a candidate until his show ends in june. trump says the gop party is upset with him. nationals park will be the scene of a mock terrorist attack. d.c. emergency officials will join local marines and sailors to prepare for what to do if there were some sort of disaster. nationals park will serve as the venue for the four-hour simulated drill. 150 military personnel are
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trained to encounter similar large scale incidents. six people are in custody after being arrested at an apartment in an apparent prostitution ring in arlington. police say they received a tip on monday about the ring going on at the days inn hotel on columbia pike. this exclusive video shows police taking four women and two men into custody. officers say they found an suv that had been reported stolen in the hotel parking lot. when people got into the vehicle, police made their move. they have not said what charges the six people taken into custody will face. prince george's county detectives are trying to find the two good samaritans connected to a police involved shooting. police say that 19-year-old keston lewis tried to steal a porsche at a gas station on saturday, stabbing the car's owner. then lewis took off in another car and crashed into three vehicles. that's when two good samaritans stopped to help him. police say lewis tried to steal their car. police eventually did catch up
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with lewis. he was shot and killed by a takoma park police officer after he struggled with a female officer. our time right now is 6:36. the member of congress who received coal from his secret santa. state farm. this is jessica.
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hey, jessica, jerry neumann with a policy question.
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jerry, how are you doing? fine, i just got a little fender bender. oh, jerry, i'm so sorry. i would love to help but remember, you dropped us last month. yeah, you know it's funny. it only took 15 minutes to sign up for that new auto insurance company but it's taken a lot longer to hear back. is your car up a pole again? [ crying ] i miss you, jessica! jerry, are you crying? no, i just, i bit my tongue. [ male announcer ] get to a better state. text save to 7-8836.
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time for weather and traffic on the ones on this wednesday morning. good morning. i'm tom kierein in stormcenter 4. quite a bit of cloudiness. temperatures milder than they have been last few mornings. mid and upper 30s much of the region. just a few scattered areas where it's near the freezing mark. 40 at reagan national. quite a bit of cloudiness coming in the last few hours. quite a bit of a cloudy start this morning. maybe a few breaks in the clouds allowing maybe a technicolor sunrise. the clouds are kind of setting up for that. sunrise at 7:18. that's a live picture from the city camera. we'll have in in the 40s by noontime. during the afternoon, low and mid-50s. this evening, sunset 4:47. back down into the low 40s by late evening and mostly cloudy. a look at the possibility for rain tomorrow and friday and the weekend. that will be coming up in ten minutes. how's traffic, danella? >> breaking news out of germantown. fatal pedestrian accident closes
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your exit ramp from 118 to southbound i-270. it's causing massive delays. chopper 4 is live showing you the delays f you're coming out of frederick, maryland, making your way from urbanna and towards clarksburg and heading towards germantown, you are bumper to bumper. if you have a way to take an national route, you can do that. if you have the ability to go in later this morning, that may also be a good solution for you because, again, significant delays. if you're traveling i-270 southbound right around 118, you're going to see the right side of the road completely blocked. also, you cannot take the exit for germantown road as well. traveling i-95 at the occoquan, you're jammed here northbound making your way towards the beltway. you're at 31 miles per hour. to get from the occoquan river bridge to the beltway, that trip takes 19 minutes. outer loop of the beltway also seeing big delays. this is the view at university boulevard. you're bumper to bumper as well. your delays start around i-95 and continue towards georgia avenue. now back to you both. >> danella, thanks so much for
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that update. today president obama will mark the near end of the american military presence in iraq with a salute to troops who work there. he's traveling to ft. bragg in north carolina. there he'll deliver a speech to families. more than 200 soldiers from the base have died in iraq in the war. the president has pledged that all u.s. troops will leave iraq by the end of this month. the man accused of shooting at the white house is due in court this morning. oscar ortega hernandez was ordered to undergo further psychiatric testing and evaluation after passing a preliminary mental exam saying he is competent to stand trial. the 21-year-old is accused of trying to assassinate the president. prosecutors say he fired a semiautomatic rifle at the white house last month. this morning police in prince william county are trying
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to identify human remains in woodbridge. they were found at bonita fitzgerald drive. police describe them as badly decomposed, and because of that, police could not even determine the sex of the person or a possible cause of death. this morning prince william county police are looking for a man who may have expoedsed himself to children. at least two incidents reported in the 11500 block of soldier's circle in manassas. police say that's where a witness took these photos of a man after one of the alleged incidents. the man approached two young boys earlier this month. one was 6 years old, the other 12. the man exposed himself and asked inappropriate and sexual questions. there have also been similar reports near a local chuck e. cheese restaurant. if you have any information about the man, you're asked to contact local police. be prepared to pay more when you hail a cab in the district of the the d.c. taxicab commission approved a proposal to increase fares. the per mile rate will jump from
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$1.50 to $2.16. the wait time rate will also jump from $15 an hour to $25 an hour. on the bride side, several fees will be eliminated. those include fees for additional passengers and for luggage. you'll also soon be able to pay for your fare with a credit card. you'll be able to offer your input in a new deal with the taxicab commission meeting on january 11. the new changes won't be implemented until february. the d.c. council is considering a proposal that would no longer allow out of state students to buy local parking permits. supporters say it's hard for local drivers to find parking spots on residential streets, especially near college campuses. students say the proposal singles them out, and they call it unfair. if passed by the full council, the plan would not become law until late next year. 6:45 now. the district may take steps to make sure the person giving you a tattoo or piercing knows what
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he or she is doing. a d.c. council committee is thinking of regulating tattoo and body piercing for the first time ever. council members are considering a bill that would establish health and education standards and require artists to be licensed. the committee will hold a hearing today on the proposal. a d.c. mother is calling for apology after she was ordered to stop breast-feeding in public. santos says that two security guards told her it was illegal to breast-feed her son inside a district dmv office. d.c. council member jim graham told news 4 that is not true. in fact, he wrote d.c.'s law allowing breast-feeding in public. santos says she was in the hallway feeding her son when the guards approached her. >> then i whipped out a piece of my own paper and wrote down what she was saying because i couldn't really believe what i was hearing. and then she said, yes, this is indecent exposure. and so which shocked me even more. >> dmv says the security guards
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work for a private security company and have been reminded the d.c. code does permit a mother to nurse a child in public. the mother filed a formal complaint about the d.c. office of human rights. congress is bickering over two things. first, a controversial payroll tax cut extension, and that is fueling another fight, which could lead to a government shutdown. angie goff is live in our news room with more on what this means. angie, good morning. >> good morning, eun. the house passed a payroll tax cut bill, but it's far from over. >> the yeas are 234, the nays are 193. the measure is passed. >> the vote keeps payroll tax cuts for millions of americans alive but with a sticking point. the controversial construction of an oil pipeline. democrats are saying no way, and president obama is threatening a veto. the chance of agreement between the two sides not looking good. >> they'd rather shut down the
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government than allow this job creates legislation to become law. >> stop the games! stand up for the people. >> most democrats voted against the republican plan to extend the tax cut. they want the rich inform pay for it. and democrats say they won't pass a spending bill to keep the government running until they agree on a payroll tax bill. if worst comes to worst, no spending bill is passed, the government will shut down this weekend. eun, here we go again. >> angie government live in our news room. angie, thanks for that update. they're in infosigning a bi authorize funds for military personnel, weapons, and the wars in afghanistan. the bill will require military custody for suspected terrorists who are linked to al qaeda and indefinite detention without trial for some of the suspects,
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and that includes u.s. citizens captured on american soil. the senate could vote on the measure tomorrow. a new poll says a large chunk of americans believe the 112th congress is one of the worst ever. according to the new nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, 42% of those surveyed agree with that sentiment. 32% say below average. 21% say average. only 2% say above average, and 1% says one of the best ever. the poll has an overall margin of error of plus/minus 3.1 percentage points. if santa gives you a lump of coal, that might be a bad thing, but don't be surprised if you get a lump of coal from senator joe manchion. the west virginia senator gave chuck schumer two lumps of coal as part of the secret santa exchange. a donkey and an elephant carved out of west virginia coal.
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61 senators took part in this first ever bipartisan interfaith gift exchange. 6:49 now. today the government is doing something it has not done since the disaster in the gulf. cnbc's jackie deangelis is live to explain. jackie, good morning. >> good morning, eun. the u.s. government is selling the first set of leases today for offshore oil drilling in the gulf of mexico since last year's bp spill. that resulted in a six-month ban on deep water drilling in the gulf. the auction to be held at the super dome in new orleans covers about 20 million acres of open water. selling oil leases is the second biggest revenue generator for the government behind collecting income taxes. meantime, more people are going to be traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother's house this holiday season. aaa expects nearly 92 million americans will travel at least 50 miles from home between christmas and new year. that's up 1.4% from last year. but about 41% of the people are saying they're scaling back their holiday travel plans due to the economy.
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eun? >> jackie, thanks so much. have a great day. the man who built a district root beer stand into a global hotel giant is stepping down as chief executive officer. j.w. marriott jr. has announced that president ar arnie sorenson will replace him as head of marriott hotels in march. he becomes the first person outside of the family to run the company. the hotel company has become a $10 billion a year business with nearly 120,000 employees, and it's considered to be one of the most desirable employers in the nation. marriott, who will soon turn 80, will stay on as executive chair of marriott's board. >> what an amazing career and legacy right here in our area. it's amazing. 6:51. weather and traffic on the ones. tom? >> not as cold this morning. i'm happy to report. >> not bad. >> most areas we are frost free. around the region, temperatures have sort of bottomed out now in the mid-30s much of virginia,
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maryland, west virginia, and the eastern shore. right now reagan national at 40 degrees. mid-30s montgomery, arlington, fairfax, and prince george's county. over the last few hours, the cloud cover is continue to go come in from the west/northwest, and it's producing some rain in northern west virginia up into ohio. there may be a few rain drops making their way into the central shenandoah valley over the next few hours. north of there, we should stay dry. sunrise at 7:18. we may have a technicolor sunrise with breaks in the clouds. the rest of the day cloudy. highs reaching low to mid-50s this afternoon. this evening chilly again. down to the low 40s by midnight. mostly cloudy. sunset at 4:47. tomorrow rain is likely during the afternoon and evening. and a bit milder and cloudy throughout the day. partly sunny friday into the mid-50s. friday evening, there's a small chance of a sprinkle mainly just south of washington through virginia. saturday some returns turning chillier. highs mid-40s after a cold start. a cold start sunday morning too.
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afternoon highs mid-40s. some sunshine. a bit milder monday. could get rain on tuesday. joe? >> thanks very much. we have breaking news out of germantown right now where a deadly pedestrian accident is creating some major problems for commuters on i-270. we've been showing you this for much of the morning. tracee wilkins is live right now. tracee with more. >> good morning, joe. i want to point out a couple of things. first you can see on i-270 the tractor-trailer that state police say struck this pedestrian as this person was crossing i-270. this happened at about quarter to 6:00. you can see the scene is just behind where that tractor-trailer is sitting now. obviously, the driver did stay on the scene and called police. now, a couple of things for folks who are driving in this area. we're standing here on 118. we were going northbound on i-270 and tried to make a u-turn on father hurley boulevard than come back down southbound, but they had the exits blocked.
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so if you're using father hurley boulevard to try to get onto i-270, know you're going to have to work around. you can come on down here to 118 and then get back on to i-270 this way, but you're not going to be able to do that from father hurley boulevard. at this point i've not been able to get state police to confirm for me whether they have other roads closed farther up north. just know that's the situation here. they have not identified, of course, who was struck here on i-270. we don't know how long it's going to be slowed down here. with more information on how to get around this and what's going on on the actual highway, here's danella sealock with that. good morning, danella. >> you know, tracee, this is going to be a big headache for commuters traveling southbound i-270. you can see choppers hovering over the accident at germantown road. the big problem is a massive backup heading out of the frederick, maryland, making your way towards urbanna, clarksburg, heading into germantown, you are bumper to bumper. really depending on where you're
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getting on i-270, it's going to be a tough commute for you. i would say avoid 270 if you can because, again, we're seeing a significant backup in this area. we're going to be watching that accident for you all morning long. also seeing delays on 395. this time they start at edsall, and you're slow crossing the 14th street bridge. now back to you both. >> danella, thanks very much. 6:55 now. the nation's leading transportation investigators are calling for an all out ban of cell phone and mobile device use by drivers even if it is hands free. the national transportation safety board made the sweeping recommendation yesterday even though they have no regulatory authority. they say the only exception should be gps devices and use of mobile devices in an emergency. the ntsb is also hoping car and cell phone manufacturers will develop ways to disable cell phones while a user is driving. traffic is running a little more smoothly in tysons corner. vdot crews reopened a ramp
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that's been closed for a year that connects westbound leesburg pike with southbound chain bridge road. it was closed for work on metro's new silver line. crews have been working on the west end of that tunnel that will run underneath tysons corner. after eight years and 2,700 miles, a lost dog is back with her family in northern virginia. somehow the dog named petunia wound up near sacramento, california. remember last week when we told you a woman walking her own dog found petunia in a wildlife area and took her to an animal shelter. workers there found a microchip that traced back to the chancellor veterinarian clinic in fredericksburg, virginia. the clinic then identified the owner. >> i thought somebody was playing a joke on me that knew me from years past. two or three hours later we found out it wasn't a joke. >> it's the best christmas present ever. >> oh, as this point the family has no idea how the dog ended up across the country.
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welcome home, petunia. >> and that is "news 4 today." thank you for starting your day with us.
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